Our Waste Heroes
Waste collectors—considered as a low level job in Nepal—are actually Waste Heroes. Why? Because they play a crucial part in keeping our cities clean!
Surviving amidst Poverty
In city areas, dire poverty forces thousands to make a living through picking and selling rubbish. This includes materials like plastic, metal, cloth, and paper collected from dumps, bins and roadsides. In this hand-to-mouth situation, people can barely earn enough to sustain themselves and their family.
Currently, Waste Concern has 32 Waste Heroes from different rural areas of Nepal with almost all of them coming from a poor family. Waste Concern has been trying to uplift the lifestyle and provide dignity to these Waste Heroes by not only giving them employment opportunities, but also by helping them with entrepreneurial skills and improving their well-being by working with community groups.
We ensure that our Waste Heroes are equipped properly with safety equipment like boots, masks, hats, and coats. In addition to this, we also make sure that they receive proper training regarding the use of first aid kits, handling hazardous waste, and other situational training.
Even during the peak period of Covid-19, when many businesses were compelled to close down either partially or completely due to the lockdown, our Waste Heroes continued to keep the city clean. During this time, they were also provided with necessary safety gear like PPE suits, masks, gloves, etc. as well as Covid-19 Insurance worth Rs. 1 Lakh.
Over time, some of our Waste Heroes have also been promoted to supervisors of their own teams at Waste Concern. Thus, providing them the opportunity to grow financially. The waste heroes have also gone beyond their existing roles at Waste Concern and have seeked lucrative employment by leveraging the training and skills that they have learnt at Waste Concern.
The work that Waste Concern is doing is applaudable as it brings the people from informal economy to formal economy; thus contributing to skilled manpower in the country.